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The First for 2013

So, I haven’t written a blog in ages, and I find myself putting the pressure on to come up with something to write about. Life has been fairly hectic these last couple of months and I thought it would be easy to keep the blogs coming to try to explain some of what has been going on in our lives and trying to keep you all up to date with how Kirsten is going, but finding the time and topics have been few and far between!

Our lives have changed dramatically, and particularly my wife who has gone from being super independent to being super frustrated with the lack of things that she can actually do without either feeling tired, dizzy or generally just crap. I feel so much for her and unfortunately nothing I can say or do can ease the burden she must be carrying, let alone the frustration of anticipating when or if the next attack may come.

I’ve seen a different side to people throughout our ordeal however, and I find it hard to put into words to describe exactly how I feel about it. People who know me know that I am cautious of the human race to start with and find it hard to trust people, especially after being let down enormously by some who I had considered or thought were “best” friends.

Now I need to put a disclaimer in here. I, by no means mean everyone we know! And, if you feel offended, hurt or targeted by this maybe you should stop reading. We have some fantastic people in our lives don’t get me wrong, but I have been constantly surprised by some that I thought were better than I now think they are! I’m not going to name names, that would be silly, but let me just say I have really questioned why I acknowledge these people in our lives!

I am really annoyed at some people’s lack of compassion? Is that the right term? I’m not sure. What I mean is their lack of contact with us to see how Kirsten is. People we really did think were our friends, or maybe not quite friends but people we know well (or thought we did!) Their lack of contact has astounded me and whether it is just because we all lead such busy lives or whether they just cant be bothered or have forgotten about her really has got up my nose! I think it’s downright lazy. In this day and age there is absolutely no excuse for not contacting someone. It takes me about 2 minutes to bang out a text at the most, I’m sure this would be about average for anyone, but have some bothered? No! I wouldn’t even begin to wonder what the excuses might be! I don’t care!

I do however understand that some people are not quite sure how to approach us, or what to say. A person I know recently approached me, after a few beers I might add, and told me that they didn’t know how to broach the subject! This was a glimmer of hope to me because finally someone was honest enough to come up and say “we don’t know what to say!” I really appreciated that, and told this person that by being honest it was appreciated more than avoiding us completely! All I can say is if someone you know has been through some type of ordeal, your lack of support or lack of perceived support can be more damaging than seeing them and being uncomfortable about it!

What it has done is made us a stronger family unit. Yep, we still have our ups and downs, every family does. But we have become more tight-knit and reliant on each other. I have also realised that in fact I don’t need all of these people in my life. Yes it has meant that we have to do that little bit extra ourselves, but do you know what?  In the long run it was probably easier too anyway, and thankfully we really haven’t had to ask for too much help either.

Luckily with my job and days off we have been able to organise most appointments around them and not have to ask too much of others. The offers have been there, and they are appreciated, we just haven’t needed to ask for help (yet!).

I have certainly enjoyed the challenge of learning to cook, and try out different recipes on the family just to outdo myself! Kirsten has commented how she is worried her “plain” cooking will never be able to keep up! But I am definetely no threat to her, she is still the Master Chef in the house!

Happy New Year to all, and hopefully this year will be a big improvement on 2012 for everyone!



6 thoughts on “The First for 2013

  1. Thanks for sharing Tone, I enjoy catching up and appreciate the effort you always make to share and to be frank in such challenging times. The Leifman crew are a hardy bunch, and I had an amazing couple of days hanging out with Josh, and to watch 2013 come in with Kork and Jamie, was truly fun!! I haven’t laughed as hard with your two ladies in such a long time. Sense of humor is wicked, I loved it, not sure Grandma and Pa did, never mind😊.

    Posted by kynbelmont | January 2, 2013, 9:58 pm
  2. Hi Tone – Kayleen here. I didn’t know you had a blog and was pleased to read the update on Kirsten. I hope all is well. It was interesting you mentined peoples lack of compassion; I have had a few discussions about this with friends recently and a psychologist friend mentioned that people have ’empathy banks’ (I’d never heard of it) and that sometimes they run dry. The issue she said at the moment is how to replenish the empathy bank. Oh dear this is a bit deep for 1:40am, I must be married to a night shif worker???? – lucky I don’t have to work tomorrow, shame he does! Say hi to Kirsten for me and tell her I’m thinking of you all, Kayleen

    Posted by Kayleen Sumner | January 3, 2013, 1:42 am
    • Hi Kayleen, that sounds the perfect term for it….”Empathy bank”! I like it! I have been surprised by how many people’s empathy bank has run out in the circle of people we know! Some of our “friends” have really disappointed us and surprised by our lack of empathy, but as another good friend said, in times of crisis you find out your real friends! Hope you’re all well, I haven’t seen Brett in ages, thought you might have let him retire! Haha! Take care, Tone 😉

      Posted by toeskneez | January 3, 2013, 7:36 am
  3. Hi Tony, I have felt a bit guilty here not being in touch as much as I could have been, I know I live in Adelaide and cannot come and see you and been ill myself but I could have rung you more than I have, though I have to admit since Kirsten got home I have left you alone thinking the last thing you need is me calling you for a chat while you are all trying to adjust to Kirsten’s illness and re-organise yourselves and your whole life and home and family around that fact, so I have not nattered you, as for friends not being in touch in my past illness’s I found that I had a few friends but a hell of a lot of acquaintances Tony and the xmas card list reduced greatly the year after I had cancer all them years ago, LOL. think of the money you will save next year on xmas cards and stamps mate.
    I have my brother and a mate from the UK over he arrived early Dec and here until Feb and Rachelle is also due in early Feb, the baby is due 3 days before my brother goes back to the UK, so its all go here, I am feeling really good and am back on my feet after the by pass and hoping to get over to see you sometime in 2013 not sure when in 2013 but in my mind I am planning on coming over.
    Will be in touch soon love and hugs to you all. xxxxoooo

    Posted by Christine Clarke | January 3, 2013, 8:51 am
  4. I like that… ’empathy banks.’ 🙂

    Much love and thinking of you guys daily. There is always a bed in Townsville for you all, or just a few of you if you prefer.

    Posted by Brooke | January 3, 2013, 11:38 am
  5. Hello Tone
    How did Christmas and New Year go, it`s been a tough year. Have been on leave for three weeks prior to Chrissy so didn`t see you prior to the break. I think your friends comment about not knowing what to do or say would be on the money, i think it`s human nature not to intrude not because they don`t care but it`s hard to know what to say or do, but i think when they make the effort and break the barrier they know how to deal with the situation.
    I hope things are well with the family and I`ll catch up soon, Brett.

    Posted by Brett Foster | January 4, 2013, 2:52 pm

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